1. Treat people as they need and want to be treated
2. Love fully and without reservation and without condition.
3. You have every right to feel whatever you are feeling in any given moment. It’s what you do with what you’re feeling that is what matters.
4. We don’t only live once. We die once. We live every day if we do it right
5. Anything you want in this world, a healthier body, a job you love, good friends, a healthy relationship, are worth the hard work it takes to gain it, and even more worth the hard work it takes to maintain it.
6. Stop telling the world how amazing you are and simply show how amazing you are.
7. “Skinny bitch” is just as painful to hear as “fat bitch.” I’ve heard both far too often in my journey to a healthy life.
8. Ask yourself is you are doing something because it serves a purpose in your life, or if you are merely doing it out of habit.
9. Sometimes, it’s more than enough to get up, inhale and exhale, repeat, then go back to bed at the end of the day.
10. Take people at their word: if they tell you they’re happy in their line of work, have no interest in getting married, aren’t ready for a relationship, or do not want a child, don’t attempt to change their mind set or be offended when they turn out to be exactly who they told you they were.
11. If you woke up and are breathing, you’ve got good news, baby!
12. You can have as many plastic surgeries as you like, but nothing will change the date on your birth certificate.
13. Give back to your community.
14. I love people who aren’t afraid to show their flaws. It makes them human, and easier to love.
15. There are no mistakes, only learning experiences.
16. Eat the damn dessert.
17. Unconditional love is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give and receive.
18. Re-evaluate often: work, hobbies, relationships, food. Look at what you’re doing, who you’re spending time with, what you are consuming. Like our breath release what no long serves a purpose, what is no longer beneficial to make space for those things that are
19. Learn to rest, not quit.
20. You are not the things you have survived.
21. If someone or something is taking more from you than you are receiving, it’s time to walk away.
22. I’m not very invested in if an adult likes me. But if a child or an animal dislikes me, it’s going to break my heart.
23. It is never a mistake to love.
24. Sometimes when we’re struggling, all we need to hear is, “I’m sorry, that sucks, I love you, what can I do to help?”
25. The best experiences of my life did not make it onto social media.
26. A good friend will talk you through your ups and downs. A great friend will say “Sure, I’ll delete your internet history if you die,” without asking any questions. These friends are also known as ‘other authors’.
27. No one knows what the hell they’re doing. We’re all just winging it. But we’re all quite gifted at making it seem like we know what the hell we’re doing.
28. I don’t care how big of a bad ass you are: when a two year old looks you in your eyes and says “I love you,” you’re going to feel all the feels.
29. Related: when the same two year old says “I hate you!” your heart is going to break a lottle.
30. Always say goodbye to someone as if it is the last time you’ll say those words. For all you know, it might be.
31. It’s alright to ask for help.
32. Your past does not define you any more than the road you took to a new city defines that city. It’s just the path you took to your destination. What you do with that destination itself is what is most important. Who you’ve been and where you come from is nowhere near as important as who you’ll be and where you’ll go.
33. I’ve spoken to groups of people of twenty-five. I’ve spoken to people in groups of over a hundred. But nothing marks the sheer fear I had when I read poetry to my child’s second grade class.
34. If I can beat infertility three times, there’s not much else I can’t kick ass at.
35. If something or someone is taking more from you than you’re receiving, it’s time to let go.
36. Editors are some of my favorite people: they have somehow managed to master the art of telling me when I’m wrong and getting paid to do so.
37. It’s a sign of true adulthood when you stop apologizing for things that bring you joy. Find what brings you joy, embrace it, don’t ever apologize for it, and don’t ever explain it. Just enjoy it.
38. I never start fights. But I damn sure finish them. Being a non-asshole does NOT equate with being a doormat.
39. Until you know who you are and are honest about what your wants and needs are, you’re never going to find what you’re looking for in this life.
40. Treat yourself how you’d want people treating the person you love the most in the world.
41. If you’ve been blessed with a person in your life who accepts you as you are and loves and supports you unconditionally, celebrate them for what they are, which is a gift.
42. Put your fucking cell phone down and be fully present for those who are gifting you with their time.
43. Sometimes you have to step completely out of your comfort zone in order to move forward and heal.
44. Figure out how you want the world to remember you and live your life accordingly.
45. At the age of 45, I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up: Content.
Happy my birthday to you Dear Reader!
Amber Jerome Norrgard